A reliable system of assessing education

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Discussions with academics on the subject of evaluation within the university system make one thing extremely clear: that no one appears to know exactly what this is. Most seem to visualize the return of the foreboding inspector sitting at the back of the class and assessing the professors' performance. This is the only kind of assessment they have ever known and the mistrust they have developed is justifiable: The inspection regime was a rough-hewn, primitive method which did not really yield any tangible results. After all, everyone knew when the "patrols" were due and would be on their best behavior at those times. Generally, there was always a certain arbitrariness about the inspectors' method of assessment.

But things have changed significantly over the years. The assessment of higher education has become something of a science and is no longer based on the arbitrary judgment of one inspector appointed to assess academics' performance. On the contrary, now it is not people who are graded, but procedures.

The process of evaluation constitutes an effort to reveal the gaps in the system and shortcomings in human resources. This is no real surprise, as the whole philosophy of management has changed. Everyone knows that low productivity is not primarily a problem created by workers but rather by management and production methods.

Considered from this point of view, it is the professors who should want evaluation more than anyone else, as this process would help to target the afflictions of the education system and ensure that they are remedied.

KATHIMERINI English Edition, 14/07/2006